“Swept to Big Purposes”

Written by on May 18, 2011

I was doing some reading yesterday afternoon and came across a prayer from Walter Brueggemann. I thought I would share it with you all. I couldn’t help but think of Sam Gamgee’s question to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings — “What sort of tale have we fallen into?” The prayer/poem is entitled “Swept to Big Purposes” and it invites us to consider yet again the nature of God’s calling in our lives. Listen for the words of the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2… SWEPT TO BIG PURPOSES

You call and we have a vocation. You send and we have an identity. You accompany us and we are swept to big purposes: chosen race, royal priesthood, your own people, receiving mercy.         But we, in our restlessness, do not want to be so peculiar.   We would rather be like the others, eager for their wealth                 their wisdom                 their power. Eager to be like them, comfortable                  beautiful                   young                   free.   We yearn to be like the others,         and you make us odd and peculiar and different.   Grant that we many find joy in our baptism,       freedom in our obedience,       delight in our vocation. The same joy, freedom, and delight that so marked our Lord whom we follow in oddness. [1] _______________

REFLECT & RESPOND

• What jumps out to you from the prayer? 
• What does Brueggemann mean by “oddness”?
• In what ways are you experiencing this invitation or calling to “oddness” in your own journey? 
[1] Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2008), 141.

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